Agricultural Policy, Crop Failure and the 'Ruriganiza' Famine (1989) in Southern Rwanda: a Prelude to Genocide ?
The paper analyses the agricultural policy of the Habyarimana regime, which ruled Rwanda from 1973 to 1994. Econometric analysis of rural household survey data is used to investigate the effects of the 1989 crop failure in southern Rwanda on children’s health status. The paper shows that children in southern Rwanda are chronically malnourished, more then in other prefectures of Rwanda. It is shown that the 1989 crop failure developed into famine and the causes of this development are investigated. It turns out that the Habyarimana regime did not respond to early warnings of famine conditions and pretend it did not know what was going on. The relationship between this non-response to famine, agricultural policy in general and the 1994 genocide is demonstrated.
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